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    Edel in Greyhawk and the Flanaess: An Overview of Psionics
    Posted on Sun, August 16, 2020 by LordCeb
    nijineko writes "A request from the Trichiliocosm Headquarters to the current Dimensional Guardians of Oerth and Greyspace for a report on the local psionic resources currently available, along with the usual bureaucratic demands, admonishments, and budgetary warnings. 

    Psionics in Greyhawk and the Flanaess

    An Overview of Edel, Creatures, and Organizations

    by Nijineko Prismaticpsion


    From: Head Warden; Order Headquarters of Trichiliocosm 6716

    To: Trichiliocosm 6716, Dichiliocosm 913, Chiliocosm 531,
          Greyspace Outpost of Planar Guardians
           Care of: Office of the Keeper, Dichiliocosm 913
           Care of: Monastery of Sentinels, Chiliocosm 531

    Recipient: Dimensional Guardians of Greyspace Prime

    Proof of Receipt Required


    Greyspace Dimensional Guardians,

    It has come to our attention that the Sphere under your care is unfortunately contaminated by the corruption known as magic, and infected parasitic viral entities, known commonly as Outsiders. In fact, a review of the Sentinel Archives for Chiliocosm 531 reveals quite a number of spheres in the local region have likewise been contaminated and infested within a similar time frame: Realmspace, Krynnspace, and others.

    We note in passing that the outlier Crimson Sphere has been identified as a possible origin vector for the magic infection, as it has already been abandoned by the Outsiders and is dying. Offer our sincere condolences to the Dimensional Guardians of the Crimson Sphere, as well as an urgent request for an updated report when next you communicate with them, as they missed the last millennial reporting deadline by a few centuries as of the date of this missive. We request that immediate coordination with all affected Dimensional Guardians and investigations proceed accordingly.

    It is further requested that increased efforts in containing and recovering the contamination and corruption of magic in Chiliocosm 531 (as per Code of Regulations, Title 42, Chapter 4, Sub-chapter B, Part 411, Subpart B: Recovery of Infected Populations), or elimination of Contaminant Vectors (as per Code of Regulations, Title 18, Chapter 83, Sub-chapter A, Part 1705: Destruction Protocols for Contamination of Magic, Contagious Infected Entities, and Corrupted Entities) be sanctioned immediately. As always remain cognizant of protocols regarding native populations (as per Code of Regulations, Title 24, Subtitle B, Chapter 9, Part 982, Section 8: Selective Application of Moral and Ethical Rights to Native Populations of Contaminated Dimensions) while securing positive results in the elimination of the corrupting contagion of magic, recovery of infected entities, and destruction of converted entities.

    Finally, it is requested that an interim update on available psionic resources be sent immediately, out of the normal reporting cycle, to update Sentinel, Keeper, and Order Archives. Please note that the requested update, and results, if any, will be included as part of the next Budget and Resources Allocation Review for Chiliocosm 531.

    Sincerely,

    Head Warden; Order Headquarters of Trichiliocosm 6716

    *****


    From: Pard Shining, Greyspace Dimensional Guardian

    To: Order Headquarters in Trichiliocosm 6716
           Copy to: Order Archives
           Care of: Monastery of Sentinels, Chiliocosm 531
           Copy to: Sentinel Archives
           Care of: Office of the Keeper, Dichiliocosm 913
           Copy to: Keeper Archives
          
    Recipient: Head Warden

    Head Warden,

    Please find attached an overview of local psionic resources, including a brief history of resources known to have been, or are currently, present..

    Please note that as per Sentinel Archives, while discovery of dimensions in Chiliocosm 531 with sentient native populations preceded the initial contamination of magic and subsequent Outsider viral infestation, active assignment of Dimensional Guardians and initial arrival upon the scene for assumption of duties occurred subsequent to initial contamination and infestation, known in local history as the Age of Magic.

    As such, this report can only be considered preliminary, and is primarily focused on planetary resources located and developed in the initial area of operations, the majority of which reside in a portion of the primary continent of Oerik known as the Flanaess. Secretive but active interactions with Greyspace have been noted in the Kingdom of Ratik and especially among the followers of Celestian, an allied Outsider.

    Sincerely,

    Pard Shining, Dimensional Guardian of Greyspace

    Attached>

    *****

    Psionics in the Prehistory of Oerth

    Extensive psychometric analysis coupled with remote clairsentience scanning and invasive sense-linked (as per secrecy protocols) perusal of modern local archives has provided numerous insights into the historical periods previous to the arrival of the first Dimensional Guardians. Certain records reveal that during the past eras previous to the so-called Age of Magic, certain prehistoric races of Oerth engaged in extensive life-shaping style practices.1, 28 The unrestrained breeding resulted in over-rapid diversification as well as excessive specialization, and those of course, led to the unavoidable self-destruction of those races. It was sometime during these eras that active psionics was first recorded. It is still unknown if the ability was bred into the local life forms by accident, by design, or arose naturally.

    Surviving strains of the life-shaped breeding programs still exist in the depths of the oceans of Oerth, and atavistic lifeforms with these ancient psionic traits are occasionally born among modern land flora and fauna as well: the Ingundi2 is a classic example. Like many other recorded worlds in the Archives, Oerth too underwent an era of domination by great lizards. This era is significant due to the first recorded signs of the contamination of magic.1

    Thus the first major chronological discrepancy is noted. There are distinct differences between the records based on magical scrying, the mythological and certain religious records of the magical “Age Before Ages” alternate history, and the information retrieved directly via psychometric methods used by Dimensional Guardians. Records indicate that early scrying produced results closer to our psychometric results, however, the more recent in time the scrying attempt, the closer it becomes to the revisionist history claimed by one of the various Outsider factions.

    We have successfully secured supporters among those who are related to psionics and mental power: Istus, Delleb, Xan-Yae, and Zuoken3 (recently freed from imprisonment as the result of our successful instigation), as well as extending our network of allies among nearly all the Powers who are favorable towards psionics, planar travelers, mental acumen, harmony, or peace: Rao, Celestian, Lendor, Trithereon, Al’Akbar, Keoghtom, Murlynd, and Johydee3; more on that subject will be reserved for future reports. It is also noted in passing that some older records indicate that most of the local Outsiders used to possess psionic powers at some point in the past, but more recent records seem to indicate that some no longer have access to psionics3,4,5,6 (and in various cases, no longer possess memories of ever having had access to psionic power)... a sure sign of danger.

    Psionics and Magic in the Flanaess

    It is clear from the historical records that the usable applications of magic in Oerth has received the direct influence of psionics from it’s earliest times. Early spells actually included surprisingly sophisticated magically enabled mental effects, including the reading of minds, projecting false mental images, and moving objects mentally.7 Spells were even named using terminology specific to psionic phenomena such as ESP and Telekinesis.7 One recent famous mage in particular has had contact with active practitioners and has thereby made an especial study of mental effects, as well as developed many magical effects specifically based on psionics: Empathic Perception, Memory Alteration, Mind Scan, Mind Shield, Replay of the Past (psychometry), and Telepathic Bond.2

    Within the last few decades, psionics has spread much further than compared to historical records. This may be a result of poor record keeping, as psionics is considered uncommon on the whole by the general populace. In fact, most natives who have heard of Edel (the most common use word for psionics42) view psionics as simply another branch of magic, if rare. Attitudes vary from acceptance and incorporation to strict control to outright fear and hatred, depending on the local polity.

    Among the natives who possess psionics, most of them seem to use a sort of magically enabled form of access to their psionic potential. This has led to a divide among the population. Most lean on magic to use their psionic abilities. These ‘impure’ types are the majority on Oerth.8

    The minority, by comparison have ‘pure’ direct access to their psionic abilities and thus do not interface or interact with magic, as is normal for psionics.8 Examples include lineal descendants of the Hidden Houses9, the unexpected but successful results of recent experimental attempts to purify magically tainted psionic users: the Elan9, 10, the very rare surviving psionic Gearforged of the so-called City of the Gods10, 11 in the Blackmoor Archbarony, as well as a few other scattered exceptions.

    Psionic Creatures found in the Flanaess

    According to historical records, among the humanoid populations the humans were the first to display psionic potential, followed by the dwarves and halflings.39, 17, 8 In more recent times this capability for psionics has spread among nearly all types of humanoids, as well as a number of non-humanoid creatures, in part due to sanctioned protocols and programs initiated by the Greyspace Outpost.

    Planar intruders with psionics such as: Aboleth12, 8, Baku13, 14, 15, Gith16, 9, Illithid17, 8, Intellect Devourers17, 8, Thought Eaters17, 8, Crysmals29, and Weavers18, 19 can be found in various locations around the continent.

    Native creatures include the Ingundi2, Grippli20, Fulminating Crabs29, Brain Moles17, 8, Quanak lizardfolk21, 22, Sand Drummers29, Quaggoth16, 23, Aleithian Dwarves29, Stonefire dwarves8, Blue Goblins8, Hammerfish29, Duergar8, 30, Su-Monsters17, Puppeteers8, Thri-kreen8, 31, 32, Arctic Cats29, Maenad8, Onyx Worms29, Xeph8, Dromities8, Gajusian29, Yuan-ti8, Hamaguans29, Death Sail29, Titan Salamanders29, Dragon Newts29, and of course Dragons, specifically the gem dragons24, 25, 26, among numerous others are scattered among the normal and magical creatures of the wilderness.

    Artificial sentient creatures capable of psionics include psiforged10 versions of the aforementioned Gearforged10,11, and rumors exist in records of a psionic form of lich.27

    Various psionic flora such as Crystal Sunflowers, Ironglass Roses, Sheengrass, Spine Springers, Udoroot8, Warp Drifters, and Deathweed, have been noted in various climes.29

    Of especial note are at least two uncommon psionic maladies present on Oerth: cascade flu8, and cerebral parasites.8, 17

    While this is not an exhaustive list, it is an excellent general overview in light of the relative scarcity of many of these races, fauna, flora, and maladies.

    Psionic Organizations of the Flanaess

    The Monastery of the Splintered Mind33 was originally founded in the Free City of Irongate of Old Aerdy East and has since spread to Scant, the Capitol of Onnwal. They fight against the Great and Hidden Empire of the Scarlet Brotherhood, which apparently plans to take over as much as the Flanaess as they can. The Splintered Mind trains special elite agents know as Truth Seekers, who have developed some interesting specialized psionic powers.

    The Fists of Zuoken8 are a militant monastic order that teaches Da’shon martial arts and Edel mental training in addition to the teachings of Zuoken. They can be found in secluded and reclusive monasteries or wandering almost anywhere helping people find balance between mind and body, teaching mediation and physical exercise, preaching their form of perfection, fighting against persecution, illithids, and the Scarlet Brotherhood, protecting psionic families, tracking down psionic artifacts, and especially guarding sites dedicated to both Zuoken and Xan-Yae. Now that Zuoken has been freed from his imprisonment, searching has resumed for the Orb of Gerendelik, a psionic artifact which rumors variously indicate can safely awaken psionic potential in any being, contains a massive store of ancient psionic lore, and/or possibly houses the soul of an ancient psion.

    Retreats of Xan-Yae4 are found in both secluded distant locations and surprisingly in almost all major capitols and busy urban centers, though the latter are nondescript, if large, buildings that cannot be recognized as a temple or monastery from the outside. Xan-Yae is rare in her popularity, her followers are widespread across the Flanaess, quietly working in the shadows, and publicly caring for those in ‘the twilight of life’. It is this public face that gives Xan-Yae her Flanaess-wide popularity, and in the shadows provides her with an information network unmatched by all but a few. In secret, these retreats also support an underground organization of stygian Mindknights.29

    The elite Ebon Saints8 are barely known, but feared by those who do. Kindly grandfathers, gentle grandmothers, terminally ill patients, and severely wounded survivors unwilling to live with crippling injuries are the recruits of this secretive order. They receive specialized training and secret ceremonies which forcibly, if temporarily, awaken advanced mental prowess, trading in what remains of their lifespan. They perform a single deadly mission flawlessly; in exchange for a loved one being well taken care of after they die. Ebon Saints also count a few exceedingly rare Psychic and Cerebral Assassins among their ranks.

    The Caradhaker8, a loose organization of dwarven hunters, have a single goal: death to all Illithid. As such they train both body and mind to an extreme degree to specialize in hunting and slaying their hated foes in the dark and winding tunnels of UnderOerth. While most people aware of this group believe the dwarves originated this unique training regime, a few are aware that the Caradhaker themselves claim to have obtained their secret lore from a hidden source. The name Caradhaker is actually a dwarven term meaning ‘mind-stalker’

    The Furyondy College of War34, 35 is famed for producing stout warriors and brave generals, but what is less well know, is that it also quietly produces Psychic Weapon Masters29 and War Minds.8 The War Minds study an ancient text known as the Talariic Codex learning tenants called ‘chains of war’, and thereby gain unique abilities in combat. Most War Minds can be found as generals of military forces, leaders of elite strike teams, or occasionally in famous arenas actively honing their art via constant direct and brutal combat. The Weapon Masters focus on a single weapon, mastering the art of combat with it. They are found wherever conflict is present.

    The Free City of Greyhawk2, 3, 4 is the called gem of the Flanaess, and is known for it’s many guilds. It is no surprise then that the Guild of Jewelers and Gem-cutters3 contain a secret enclave of Crystalsingers29 and Crystalmasters29. Other guilds likewise have their secrets: the Guild of Architects and Stonemasons3 have an eccentric Erbauer29 master sculptor, the Guild of Apothecaries and Herbalists3 has a Sangehirn29 and her two disciples, and in the Guild of Ostlers and Brewers3 there is a certain tavern which is also a secret front for the very well hidden Greyhawk School of Psionics.36 Attempts at organizing a Guild of Psionicists41 have previously met with resistance, though less so in the last year or so. A few more years and this project may see fruit.

    The Flanaess is known for having numerous orders of knights, and those with the Gift of Fate are not immune to the call of knighthood. The Knights of the Floating Table37 is an Order focused on upholding truth and justice, regardless of lineage or position, on all who accept the influence of their unique power: Table of Mediation. This makes them popular with the common people, but less so among the unethical or ignoble. When not called upon to mediate between two disputing parties, they patrol the highways and byways much like many other orders of knighthood.

    The Order of the Knights of the Silver Shield38, known for their unique silvery shields which begin cloudy and grow brighter and more reflective based on the valorous bravery, chivalrous conduct, and noble deeds performed by the bestowed knights. When the shield judges the knight has overcome an especially monumental challenge, they will display a radiant golden star, the highest honor. The shields do not permit themselves to be carried nor wielded by those who do not uphold the principles of Order and Freedom. These knights are typically based near the Crystalmist, Hellfurnace, and Lortmil mountain ranges, escorting travelers near their forts to safety and fighting against giants and other foes of Order and Freedom.

    The Society of the Sanctified Mind40 is a branch of the church of St. Cuthbert and was originally restricted to paladins, clerics, and other combatants in good stead of the same. Under the helm of recently appointed dwarf Commandant Albaric, who has opened the society to all races and classes who believe in the mission and goals of the society: to restrict the depredations of evil uses of psionics; psionicists are actively recrited. While being able to sense psionics is one of the minimum requirements to join the Society, and thus almost all members have psionic potential, the old guard remains highly suspicious of psionic users falling to evil, causing divisions within the Society.

    The Church of Sardior24, 29, 8 has gained recent popularity, to the extent that most large cities have a branch and even the five Thanes of Sardior between them have collected about half of the total followers with many branches here and there. His dogma focuses on acquiring knowledge, but not by studying dusty tomes. No, he prefers to get someone else to read it and tell him all about it. His clergy follow suit and are gregarious, skilled at conversing and storytelling, and always seem to have the latest gossip. Having an excellent eye for gems, combined with a striking lack of any political agendas, they are popular guests at parties among the wealthy and noble classes.

    The Hidden Houses9 are human transmigrators from another dimension, who fled an apocalyptic demise of their home world. Once eight, now only six houses are known to survive, they quietly seek to integrate and survive in the Flanaess. They are ‘pure’ psionicsts, thus are mildly allergic to magic, being unable to use magical items, but able to tolerate psionic items crafted by ‘impure’ psionic artificers. It is unknown if they used the Travel Stone network of the ancient Mystic civilization 43, the same interdimensional Nexus near the Ardi Forest that the Rhennee42 used, or arrived through a rift of their own making.

    Report prepared by: Pard Shining, Dimensional Guardian of Greyspace


    References

    1 Scrying the Ancient Races of Greyhawk, Canonfire.com

    2 Greyhawk Adventures

    3 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk

    4 Guide to Greyhawk Boxed Set

    5 Glossography

    6 The Dragon #067

    7 Dungeons & Dragons, Men & Magic, Volume I

    8 Expanded Psionic Handbook 3.5

    9 Complete Psionic, 3.5

    10 Eberron Campaign Setting, 3.5

    11 Dungeon #126

    12 Dwellers of the Forbidden City

    13 Manual of the Planes, AD&D

    14 Manual of the Planes, 3.5

    15 Complete Divine, 3.5

    16 Fiend Folio, AD&D

    17 Dungeons & Dragons, Eldritch Wizardry, Supplement III

    18 Monster Manual 3, 4e

    19 The Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon #163

    20 Needle

    21 Dungeons & Dragons, Greyhawk, Supplement I

    22 Dungeon Master’s Guide II, 3.5

    23 Dragon #265

    24 The Dragon #037

    25 Draconum Psionicus

    26 Legend of Sardior

    27 Dragon #174

    28 Dark Sun, Athas.org, Official 3e site

    29 The Minds Eye, web articles collection, 3.0 & 3.5

    30 Queen of the Spiders

    31 Monster Cards

    32 Thri-kreen of Athas, Greyhawk section, 2nd edition

    33 Dragon 281

    34 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief

    35 Dungeon #117

    36 Maldin’s Greyhawk, melkot.com, personal campaign

    37 The Complete Psionic Handbook, 2e

    38 The Knights of the Silver Shield, by Raymond MacDonald Alden, Copyright 1906 The Bobbs-Merrill Company Publishers

    39 Dragon #058

    40 Lords of Madness

    41 Cityscape

    42 Living Greyhawk Gazateer

    43 Dungeon #031

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    Edel in Greyhawk and the Flanaess: An Overview of Psionics

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    Re: Edel in Greyhawk and the Flanaess: An Overview of Psionics (Score: 1)
    by mtg (mtizoc@canonfire.com) on Tue, August 18, 2020
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Even though I'm unfamiliar with Greyspace, I greatly enjoyed your article for radically recontextualizing the setting. I also liked your endnotes.

    Were the Hidden Houses featured in a Dragon Magazine article before Complete Psionic 3.5? I can only dimly recall artwork and a compelling narrative introducing them.



    Re: Edel in Greyhawk and the Flanaess: An Overview of Psionics (Score: 1)
    by Longetalos on Mon, August 24, 2020
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Interesting overview of the ways psionics can be inserted into Greyhawk. I will remember this article next time a player decides to play a character with psychic abilities.




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